The Minoan civilization was an Aegean Bronze Age civilization on the island of Crete and other Aegean islands which flourished from about 2600 to 1100 BC. It preceded the Mycenaean civilization of Ancient Greece, the civilization was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of British archaeologist Arthur Evans. It has been described as the earliest of its kind in Europe, the term Minoan, which refers to the mythical King Minos, originally described the pottery of the period. Minos was associated in Greek mythology with the labyrinth and the Minotaur, according to Homer, Crete once had 90 cities. The Minoan period saw trade between Crete and Aegean and Mediterranean settlements, particularly the Near East and artists, the Minoan cultural influence reached beyond Crete to the Cyclades, Egypts Old Kingdom, copper-bearing Cyprus and the Levantine coast, and Anatolia. Some of its best art is preserved in the city of Akrotiri on the island of Santorini, although the Minoan language and writing systems remain undecipherable and are subjects of academic dispute, they apparently conveyed a language entirely different from the Greek.
The reason for the end of the Minoan period is unclear, theories include Mycenaean invasions from mainland Greece, the term Minoan refers to the mythical King Minos of Knossos. Its origin is debated, but it is attributed to archeologist Arthur Evans. Minos was associated in Greek mythology with the labyrinth, which Evans identified with the site at Knossos. However, Karl Hoeck had already used the title Das Minoische Kreta in 1825 for volume two of his Kreta, this appears to be the first known use of the word Minoan to mean ancient Cretan, Evans said that applied it, not invented it. Hoeck, with no idea that the archaeological Crete had existed, had in mind the Crete of mythology, although Evans 1931 claim that the term was unminted before he used it was called a brazen suggestion by Karadimas and Momigliano, he coined its archaeological meaning. Instead of dating the Minoan period, archaeologists use two systems of relative chronology, the first, created by Evans and modified by archaeologists, is based on pottery styles and imported Egyptian artifacts.
Evans system divides the Minoan period into three eras, early and late. These eras are subdivided—for example, Early Minoan I, II and III, another dating system, proposed by Greek archaeologist Nicolas Platon, is based on the development of architectural complexes known as palaces at Knossos, Phaistos and Kato Zakros. Platon divides the Minoan period into pre-, proto-, neo-, the relationship between the systems in the table includes approximate calendar dates from Warren and Hankey. The Thera eruption occurred during a phase of the LM IA period. Efforts to establish the volcanic eruptions date have been controversial, the eruption is identified as a natural event catastrophic for the culture, leading to its rapid collapse. Although stone-tool evidence exists that hominins may have reached Crete as early as 130,000 years ago, evidence for the first anatomically-modern human presence dates to 10, the oldest evidence of modern human habitation on Crete are pre-ceramic Neolithic farming-community remains which date to about 7000 BC
Elounda, alternative transliterations Elounta or Elouda, is a small fishing town on the northern coast of the island of Crete, Greece. It is part of the municipality of Agios Nikolaos, until recently belonging to the prefecture of Lasithi and as of the passage of new legislation, Elounda is formed of seven villages and an uninhabited island area. The village of Schisma is by far the most populated one and is understood as Elounda Centre. The community of Elounda has a total of 2,193 inhabitants according to the 2011 census, the road into Elounda from Agios Nikolaos is approximately 12 km in length and follows the shore as it climbs to the top of a small mountain. On a clear day it is possible to see the whole of Mirabello Bay and it is the closest major town to the former leper colony of Spinalonga, located on an island officially named Kalydon. Elounda is a famous tourist attraction, heavily visited by VIPs for its seaside luxury resorts, prime Minister Andreas Papandreou used to spend his summers in Elounda, today, it is visited almost every year by the royal family of Saudi Arabia.
Elounda has a history as part of the Venetian era. Elounda has changed considerably during its lifespan, the bulk of the ancient city of Olous was reclaimed by the sea towards the end of the Ancient Greek period and is still visible, in part, when diving in the bay of Elounda. During the early 1900s, Elounda acted as a stopping off point for lepers being transported to the colony at Spinalonga. In 1984, the President of France, François Mitterrand, bus services in Elounda are operated by the KTEL bus company, with scheduled services running to Plaka and Agios Nikolaos throughout the day. Elounda was used for the filming of the popular BBC television series Who Pays the Ferryman. in the late 1970s and it is the setting for the Belinda Jones novel Out of the Blue. Also see The Moon-Spinners by Disney, together with The Island, by Victoria Hislop there is available a much more substantial work on the same subject called YANNIS by Beryl Darby who wrote the first guide book to Spinalonga. Elounda travel guide from Wikivoyage Municipality of Aghios Nikolaos, Elounda info page Elounda info and elounda guide
The Libyan Sea is the portion of the Mediterranean Sea, north of the African coast of ancient Libya, i. e. Cyrenaica and Marmarica. This designation was used by ancient geographers describing the southern Mediterranean, except from Crete other islands in Libyan sea are Gavdos, Gavdopoula and Chrysi. To the east is the Levantine Sea, to the north the Ionian Sea, and to the west the Strait of Sicily
Sitia is a port town and a municipality in Lasithi, Greece. The town has 9,912 inhabitants, the municipality has 18,318 and it lies east of Agios Nikolaos and northeast of Ierapetra. Sitia port is on the Sea of Crete, part of the Aegean Sea and is one of the centers of the Lasithi region. European route E75, which ends in Vardø, starts in Sitia, Sitia is served by the Sitia Public Airport. Sitia has not experienced the effects of mass tourism even though there is a beach along the road leading to Vai and several places of historical interest.091 km2. The province of Siteia was one of the provinces of Lasithi and its territory corresponded with that of the current municipality Siteia and the municipal unit Makry Gialos. The are a number of sites in the municipality of Sitia that are protected as National Parks, Aesthetic Forests, in addition, there are several Minoan settlements unearthed in the various archaeological sites in the municipality, such as in Itanos and in Mochlos. According to Diogenes Laertius, Sitia was the home of Myson of Chen, the name Σητεία may come from the ancient Ητεία, written as Itia or Etea in English.
The town was expanded and fortified by the Venetians who used it as a base of operations for the Eastern Mediterranean. During the Venetian occupation, the town was destroyed three times, by an earthquake in 1508, by an attack in 1538 and finally by the Venetians themselves in 1651. Sitia was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, after the Venetians moved out of Crete, the town was abandoned for two centuries until it was resettled by farmers in 1869. The main remnant of the Venetian occupation is the Kazarma, the old fortress overlooking the harbour. The municipality of Sitia is served by Sitia Public Airport with several destinations, the first landing was on June 7,1984. Construction of new building facilities that included a tower was completed in May 1993. Runway and apron extension works were finished in May 2003, the local authorities have completed negotiations with international travel agents for organizing regular charter flights starting from May 2012. The town has a marina which accommodates smaller fishing boats and yachts, Vai forest and beach, the largest natural palm forest in Europe.
Moni Toplou, founded in the mid 15th century, is one of the most significant monasteries in Crete, Kazarma fortress, in the town of Sitia. Richtis Gorge and Waterfall at Exo Mouliana village, various archeological sites with Minoan civilization settlements from the Bronze Age, such as in Itanos and Mochlos
Myrtos is a coastal village in the west of the municipality of Ierapetra, in the regional unit of Lasithi on the island of Crete in Greece. It is located 14.5 km from Ierapetra, the most southern town of Europe and 50.5 km from Agios Nikolaos, Myrtos is situated at the Libyan Sea. The population of the village in 2010 is about 600 people, Myrtos has a rich history, and although many think it is a poor town it has prospered with the advent of tourism. The town is full of tavernas although there is a jewellery shop,2 supermarkets, a few souvenir shops. There are a few hotels and studios, the area surrounding Myrtos was already inhabited in the Minoan period, but the current village dates from the first half of the twentieth century. Before that it was the location of a port, where inhabitants from higher surroundings traded for local products. Only when threats from piracy along the Cretan coast diminished and it became safer to live there did the village of Myrtos develop, on September 15,1944, during the Second World War, the occupants of Myrtos were ordered by the German occupiers to leave the village.
Many refused to do so, resulting in the massacre of eighteen inhabitants as a reprisal, in the central square of Myrtos there is a monument to commemorate that event. Near this monument, every year on October 28, Ohi Day is commemorated, tourism started at the beginning of the 1970s. Initially Myrtos was especially popular amongst hippies, but also regular tourists started to visit the village, the temperature in the south of Crete is a couple of degrees higher than in the north, because colder winds from the north are blocked by Dikti mountain. The average temperature in the warmest months of the year is around 30 degrees Celsius, the temperature in the coldest months of the year averages about 8 degrees Celsius, and it can sporadically snow in Myrtos. Myrtos has a beach, consisting not just of sand. The beach has received the Blue Flag award, which requires the beach to satisfy a number of criteria in order to retain it, the nearby village of Tertsa has a very long beach. On the two outlying beaches of Tertsa nudism is tolerated by the authorities, Myrtos is the location for two Minoan archaeological sites, at Fournou Korifi and Pyrgos, which provide evidence that the village and its environs have been inhabited since the neolithic period.
There is a Roman villa, although the ruins are now covered or lost due to coastal erosion. Near the small village Mithi, about 3 miles from Myrtos lies the Sarakina Gorge, of particular importance in increasing the prosperity around Myrtos in the middle of the twentieth century was the Dutchman Paul Kuijpers. The areas surrounding Myrtos are still dominated by greenhouses, often composed only of wooden frames covered with plastic, in 1971, Paul Kuijpers was killed in a car accident, and a memorial in Gra Lighia commemorates his importance for the area. Official Website of the Village Myrtos Crete Guide Archaeological site at Myrtos-Pyrgos
The palm beach of Vai is one of the largest attractions of the Mediterranean island of Crete. It features the largest natural palm forest in Europe, made up of Cretan Date Palm, at the beginning of the 1980s Vai was full of backpacker tourists from the whole world, leading to a mixture of chaotic campground and garbage dump. Vai was enclosed and declared as a protected area, the unique forest recovered, the beach became clean. It is now a big tourist attraction and in August it is difficult to find a spot on the beach or indeed anywhere to park, lf you need the toilets you have to pay a euro or two. Because it is necessary to pay for parking, people park on the road so access can be difficult, the palm beach, which belongs to the Moni Toplou, is the touristic center of East Crete, with thousands of visitors each year. Vai lies close to Palekastro and the Dionysades islands
Zakros is a site on the eastern coast of the island of Crete, containing ruins from the Minoan civilization. The site is known to archaeologists as Zakro or Kato Zakro. It is believed to have one of the four main administrative centers of the Minoans. The town was dominated by the Palace of Zakro, originally built around 1900 BC, rebuilt around 1600 BC, extensive ruins of the palace remain, and are a popular tourist destination. Zakros is sometimes divided into Epano Zakros, the higher up on the hillside, and Kato Zakros. A ravine known as the Ravine of the Dead runs through both the upper and lower parts of the ancient site, named after the burials that have been found in the caves along its walls. Epano Zakros is 38 km from Sitia, the road passes through Palekastro where it doubles back towards the south. The asphalt road ends at Kato Zakros, Zakro was first excavated by D. G. Hogarth of the British School of Archaeology at Athens and 12 houses were unearthed before the site was abandoned, in 1961, Nikolaos Platon resumed the excavation and discovered the Palace of Zakro.
This site has yielded several clay tablets with Linear A inscriptions, The Discovery of a Lost Palace of Ancient Crete. Minoan Crete, Zakros page Minoan Crete, Epano Zakros page
Prefectures of Greece
They are now defunct, and have been approximately replaced by regional units. They are called departments in ISO 3166-2, GR and by the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, the prefectures became self-governing entities in 1994, when the first prefectural-level elections took place. The prefects were appointed by the government. In addition, there were three super-prefectures controlling two or more prefectures, with the Kallikratis reform, which entered into force on 1 January 2011, the prefectures were abolished. Many, especially in the mainland, were retained in the form of units within the empowered regions. The current Prefectural Self-Governments were formed in 1994 and replaced the previous prefectures, whose councils, prefectures are governed by a Prefectural Council made up of 21 to 37 members, led by the Prefect and presided by a Council President. Other organs of the prefectures are, The Prefectural Committee, consisted of the Prefect or an assistant appointed by him and 4 to 6 members, the Provincial Council and The Eparchos.
Prefectural councillors are elected via public election every four years, three-fifths of all seats go to the combination winning a majority and two-fifths of the seats go to remaining parties based on a proportional system. Prefect becomes the president of the victorious electoral combination, electoral is a combination which attains more than 42% in the first round of the prefectural elections. Nonetheless, the affairs of state administration belonging to the prefects before 1994 are now exerted by the Presidents of the Regions, the current Prefectural Self-Governments have kept the local affairs of prefectureal level not belonging to the state administration. With certain laws specific affairs of certain ministries were transferred to the Prefectural Self-Governments, unlike the rest mentioned above, the prefecture never broke up into two prefectures, thus being the only one left with a composite appellation. Messenia originally included the half of what is now Elis. Laconia originally included the half of what is now Messinia.
Euboea originally included the Sporades, which now belong to Magnesia, the territory of Phthiotis Prefecture did not originally include the Domokos Province, which was part of Thessaly. Arcadia Prefecture and the Cyclades Prefecture are the only prefectures to have their borders unchanged since independence, the capital of Argolis Prefecture, Nafplion was the first capital of the modern Greek state, before the move of the capital to Athens by King Otto. is Nomarchy
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, 88th-largest island in the world and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, the capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065, Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits. It was once the centre of the Minoan civilization, which is regarded as the earliest recorded civilization in Europe. The island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC, repeated in Neo-Assyrian records and it was known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu, strongly suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island. The current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words
Ierapetra is a town and municipality in the southeast of the Greek island of Crete. The town of Ierapetra is located on the southeast coast of Crete and it lies south of Agios Nikolaos and southwest of Sitia and is an important regional centre. With its 16,139 inhabitants it is the most populous town in the unit of Lasithi. Ierapetra is nicknamed bride of the Libyan Sea because of its position as the town on the south coast of Crete. Ierapetra has had a place in the history of Crete since the Minoan period, the Greek and Roman town of Hierapytna was on the same site as present day Ierapetra. In the Classical Age Hierapytna became the strongest town of eastern Crete and as a Dorian city in continual rivalry with Praisos and its importance as independent state ended when it was conquered by the Romans in 67 BC and was surpassed by the city of Gortyn. The Roman conquest of Ierapetra occurred about the time as that of Knossos, Cydonia. Today remains of the Roman harbor can still be seen in the shallow bay, in AD824 it was destroyed by Arab invaders, only to be rebuilt as a base for pirates again.
In the Venetian Age, from the 13th to the 17th centuries, in July 1798 Ierapetra made a small step into world history, Napoleon stayed with a local family after the Battle of the Pyramids in Egypt. The house where he stayed can still be seen, in the Ottoman period a mosque was built in the town. Finds from Ierapetras past can be found in the local Museum of Antiquities, the centrepiece of the exhibition is a well-preserved statue of Persephone. Present day Ierapetra consists of two distinct parts, Kato Mera and Pano Mera. Kato Mera is the old town on the southwestern headland and it is characterized by a medieval street layout with narrow alleyways, cul-de-sacs and small houses, creating a village-like atmosphere. The former mosque and the house of Napoleon can be found in this neighbourhood and it is considered one of the most interesting churches of Crete. The ceiling of the church has many blind domes and those, as well as the central dome, are wooden. Pano Mera is the much bigger new town, with wider streets, Pano Mera is still expanding towards the west and east.
Ierapetras main shopping street is Koundouriotou, in the centre the town hall, the museum and two cinemas can be found. The local hospital lies in Pano Mera, further east is a short beach with bars and restaurants, followed by the quay for ferries to Chrissi
Sea of Crete
The Sea of Crete is a sea, part of the Aegean Sea, located in its Southern extremity. The sea stretches to the North of the island of Crete, East of the islands of Kythera and Antikythera, South of the Cyclades, the bounding sea to the West is the Ionian Sea. To the Northwest is the Myrtoan Sea - between Peloponnese and the Cyclades, part of the Aegean Sea, to the East-SE is the rest of the Mediterranean Sea, sometimes credited as the Levantine Sea. Across the island of Crete, to the shore of it begins the Libyan Sea. Ferry routes to and from Piraeus and Heraklion, as well as the Southern islands of the Aegean and the Dodecanese, run in this area. Just off the coastline of Northeastern Crete the sea reaches a depth of near 3,294 m Other sources show a maximum depth of 2,591 m. Michael Hogan & Steve Baum. National Council for Science and Environment
The Cretan State, was established in 1898, following the intervention by the Great Powers on the island of Crete. It was the prelude of the final annexation to the Kingdom of Greece. The island of Crete, an Ottoman possession since the end of the Cretan War, was inhabited by a mostly Greek-speaking population and after the Greek War of Independence, the Christians of the island rebelled several times against external Ottoman rule, pursuing union with Greece. These were brutally subdued, but secured some concessions from the Ottoman government under the pressure of European public opinion, in 1878, the Pact of Halepa established the island as an autonomous state under Ottoman suzerainty, until the Ottomans reneged on that agreement in 1889. The collapse of the Pact heightened tensions in the island, leading to another rebellion in 1895, nationalist secret societies and a fervently irredentist public opinion forced the Greek government to send military forces to the island, provoking a war with the Ottoman Empire.
Although most of Crete came under the control of the Greek forces, the unprepared Greek Army was crushed by the Ottomans, who occupied Thessaly. The war was ended by the intervention of the Great Powers, who forced the Greek contingent to withdraw from Crete, in the Treaty of Constantinople the Ottoman Government promised to implement the provisions of the Halepa Pact. On 25 August 1898, a Turkish mob massacred hundreds of Cretan Greeks, national Bank of Greece established a bank, the Bank of Crete, which had a 40-year monopoly on note issuance. The Cretan state established a force, the Cretan Gendarmerie, modeled on the Italian Carabinieri. The Cretan Gendarmerie incorporated the four small gendarmerie units the four occupying powers had created, on 13 December 1898, George of Greece arrived as High Commissioner for a three-year tenure. On 27 April 1899, an Executive Committee was created, in which a young, Athens-trained lawyer from Chania, Eleftherios Venizelos, by 1900, Venizelos and the Prince had developed differences over domestic policies, as well as the issue of Enosis, the union with Greece.
On 15 August, the Cretan Assembly voted for the proposals of Venizelos, and the Great Powers brokered an agreement, whereby Prince George would resign and a new constitution created. In addition, Greek officers came to replace the Italians in the organization of the Gendarmerie, and the withdrawal of the foreign troops began, leaving Crete de facto under Greek control. The flag of the Cretan State was replaced by the Greek flag, all public servants took an oath to King George I of Greece, and this act was not recognized internationally, including by Greece, where Eleftherios Venizelos was elected Prime Minister in 1910. In May 1912, the Cretan deputies travelled to Athens and tried to enter the Greek Parliament, upon the outbreak of the First Balkan War, Greece finally recognized the union and sent Stephanos Dragoumis as the islands governor-general. On 1 December, the ceremony of union took place. The total population in 1911 was 336,151,307,812 Christians,27,852 Muslims and 487 Jews. Eleftherios Venizelos Ottoman Crete Cretan Gendarmerie List of Greek countries and regions Enosis, The Union of Crete with Greece http, //rethemnosnews